HomeCat BehaviorWhy do cats go towards visitors who dislike cats?

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Why do cats go towards visitors who dislike cats? — 3 Comments

  1. I am not so sure that results from a lab’ environment are terribly useful when testing out theories about the behaviour of cats, or indeed any other species. The artifice works against the integrity of the observational experiment.

    A better way might be to establish some cat resident homes, fit unobtrusive cameras up in the living room or room most used for visitors. Then film over a few weeks. Cat haters could be lined up as visitors along with cat lovers.

    Using the cat’s normal environment would yield more accurate results. The differences in cat personalities would show up too, adding some true colour and depth to the gathered data.

    I have been impressed with a lot of Dr Bradshaw’s work, but this isn’t one of his better experiments in my view. If only he’d ditch the behaviourism and embrace ethology!

  2. I get and believe all that, but there might be a tiny bit more to it. When a cat has a clear choice between two opposites, by comparing the two the cat might see more direct eye contact from the cat lover. I believe that is generally instinctively a little more uncomfortable to a cat, (because that is always what a cat sees when pursued or attacked, either by play-friend or foe). It’s common to all cats and works in reverse too, as when a pursuer sees it’s target animal look at them, the jig is up and the advantage of surprise or ambush is lost. So, if a cat is given to going to either of those people in the room, it will more likely the person who is not staring at them, albeit from dislike but the cat doesn’t know that. I proved that (again) to myself just last night when I had the chance to coax a long time notorious stray/street cat to me by laying on my back and looking up near my car where he was hiding. I’d go into it but safe to say it was a very rewarding and telling experience, partly supporting my theory here. This guy, ravaged by street life eventually made his way over and rubbed all up and down my side and we had a pet session as if we’d been friends forever. I hope to bring him in and take care of him.

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